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  • we talk a lot about big launch vehicles heading the space.

  • But what about the smaller ones?

  • Firefly Aerospace is getting ready for their first ever launch of their Alfa rocket.

  • If the launch is successful, it could be the breakthrough moment the company's been waiting for.

  • So in our case, we have decided to attack the small to medium launch market.

  • So Alpha's our first launch vehicle, and it combines the best known older technologies with easily accessible new technologies.

  • Firefly wants to dominate within the launch vehicle business and the spacecraft business.

  • Other companies, like Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit, also have ambitions to dominate, so the competition is fierce.

  • That's because small satellites like Cube SATs hold a lot of potential and can play an important role in the space industry, from Earth observation to defense operations and telecommunications.

  • We would like Thio service a small satellite industry and provide services to those larger missions.

  • For example, cargo delivery for human spaceflight.

  • I think it's really the smartest niche, because that's the area that's growing.

  • The fastest small satellites are coming to replace large satellites to get to low earth orbit.

  • The small satellites will be hitching a ride on the two stage Alfa rocket.

  • What's different about Alfa is that it's an all composite rocket.

  • It uses carbon fiber composite that makes our rocket lighter and stronger so that we can put more pay, vote on the rocket and less structural support than if we're using conventional metallics.

  • As for the power, the first stage has four river engines, while its second stage has one lightning engine.

  • It uses liquid oxygen and RP one or kerosene propellants, which are very standard and and we've used since the Apollo era.

  • Alphas designed toe lift upto one metric ton of cargo into low Earth orbit, which may put it at an advantage over other small rocket companies amongst their competitors were kind of the big small rocket company, so we have a large small launcher, and that one metric ton is significantly larger than our competitors and fireflies Goal is to make these launches as affordable as they can, which in the space industry means about $15 million.

  • But because this first mission is a test flight, Alfa won't be carrying the usual expensive payloads like a massive telecommunications satellite.

  • It'll be carrying something a bit more inspirational, called dedicated research and education, accelerator Mission or dream.

  • The payload will carry seven projects from groups who typically wouldn't have.

  • The financial resource is to get a ride into space.

  • We can provide stem opportunities for students to fly everything from a small experiment to just some note that they want to distribute up in space.

  • But then there are other small satellite companies in the early stages, and they need a proof of concept.

  • And this gives them a free or very low cost ability to actually demonstrate their product in space, which normally is just out of reach for a small startup company.

  • So dream by its name is supposed to facilitate people taking things that were in imagination and bringing them to reality.

  • The rocket was originally scheduled to launch in early 2020 but then the pandemic happened, delaying supply shipments and adding social distancing measures.

  • But after months of tests, their work is finally paying off.

  • The Alfa rocket will launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base, and if all goes well with this test prepared to see a lot more of firefly spaces and adventure space is a risk.

  • You got to find people that have that kind of spirit and that kind of determination to go out and do that.

  • Ultimately, I think they're gonna be handsomely rewarded.

  • But they have to be risk takers.

  • And they have to really believe in the mission.

  • For more countdown to launch.

  • Check out our playlist here.

  • Are there any other launches that you want to see us cover?

  • Let us know in the comments below.

  • Make sure to subscribe to Seeker.

  • And thank you so much for watching.

  • I'll see you next time.

we talk a lot about big launch vehicles heading the space.

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